While “hygge” is all the rage, the Dutch practice something called “gezellig,” (pronounced ‘heh-sell-ick’) which as one writer described it-“hygge but without the fairy magic.” This all-encompassing word is often translated as “cozy,” but it describes an atmosphere which is a whole bunch of warm fuzzy feelings all wrapped up in eight words – cozy, pleasant, friendly, convivial, quaint, fun, sociable, delightful, togetherness, belonging. At the moment, with temps in the minuses every night, and barely climbing into the single digits, I need all the cozy warmth I can get here in Vermont.
Interestingly, hygge comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well being,” while gezellig originates from the word for companionship. The difference between the two is that gezellig is more sociable while hygge is more insular. So here are some ways to try gezelligheid:
• Sit in twilight
• Have an open kitchen. Put a stool in there so friends can visit while you cook
• Decorate with flowers
• Make a sign that says Gezelligheid kent geen tijd, which means if you are having a good time it doesn’t matter how late it gets.
• Do something with friends
• Have coffee in a cafe while enjoying a pastry with friends.
• Don’t pick up after your kids. A Dutch website says that since your kids won’t put away their toys without a bribe anyway, you might as well leave them scattered across the floor.
Of course, if you prefer hygge, check out Take a Danish Hygge Break
Not interested in today’s activity, go to the Take a Break Pinterest and pick out something else.